Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission
Cannabis in Massachusetts is legal for both medical-use and recreational adult-use. Massachusetts voters approved Question 3 (the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Initiative) to approve medical cannabis and passed a ballot initiative (Question 4) making recreational adult-use cannabis legal within the state.
The Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) was established to honor the will of the voters of Massachusetts by safely, equitably, and effectively implementing and administering the laws enabling access to medical- and adult-use cannabis in the commonwealth. The CCC will foster the creation of a safely regulated industry that will create opportunities and incremental tax revenues in communities.
Proper training is a critical part of a Marijuana Establishment’s success and under CCC regulations, Marijuana Establishment Agents are required to complete training prior to performing their job functions. The Responsible Vendor Training Program is mandated state-wide by CCC, it is designed to support licensee compliance and enhance the safety of customers and working employees.
The Responsible Vendor Training Program must be tailored to the roles and responsibilities of each Marijuana Establishment job function, and each Marijuana Establishment Agent must receive eight (8) hours of ongoing training annually. The “Responsible Vendor” training must include at least two (2) hours of instruction time by a Commission-certified “Responsible Vendor” trainer
To be designated a “Responsible Vendor” all owners, managers, and employees involved in the handling and transfer of cannabis products need to complete a Responsible Vendor Training Program. Once designated a “Responsible Vendor” all new employees involved in the handling and transfer of cannabis products must complete their “Responsible Vendor” training within ninety (90) days of hire.
- Training: Varies
- Resources: Varies
- Assessment: Varies
- Grade: 70% Required
- Display: Badge & Certificate
- Validity: 1 Year
- Language: English
- Official: RV-00034
Frequently Asked Questions
Find Questions Frequently Asked & Answers Provided for Informational Purposes ONLY By the Massachusetts State Cannabis Control Commission (CCC).
When an establishment licensee is designated a "Responsible Vendor"... all new employees involved in the handling and sale of cannabis for adult use must successfully complete a Responsible Vendor Training program within ninety (90) days of hire. After initial successful completion of the training, each owner, manager, and employee will complete the program once every year for the establishment to maintain the designation as a "Responsible Vendor."
Administrative employees who do not handle or sell cannabis may take the "Responsible Vendor" program on a voluntary basis. Establishments that achieve "Responsible Vendor" status must keep records about Responsible Vendor Training program compliance for four (4) years. The training records must also be available for inspection by Commission staff and any other applicable licensing authority if they are requested (during normal business hours).
Proper training is critical... under Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) regulations, agents are required to complete training prior to performing their job functions. Training must be tailored to the roles and responsibilities of each establishment job function, and each agent must receive eight (8) hours of ongoing training annually. The training must include at least four (4) hours of "Responsible Vendor Basic Core Curriculum" by a certified trainer and a total of eight (8) hours annually from the "Responsible Vendor Advanced Core Curriculum" to prepare participants and pass the assessments with a seventy-percent (70%) or better grade.
Responsible Vendor Trainers are independent entities... an owner or employee of a Responsible Vendor Training program cannot have a controlling interest in a licensed establishment, and standards are in place to ensure trainers do not experience conflicts of interest or sell certain services, equipment, or supplies from third parties. Businesses that become certified as Responsible Vendor Trainers must complete an application, which includes copies of the proposed training materials, and have it approved by the Commission.
Responsible Vendor Trainers are required to stay up-to-date on developments in federal and state laws and regulations that affect establishments in order to ensure their training and testing materials are current. Additionally, to remain certified, Responsible Vendor Trainers must submit their training every two (2) years for review and re-approval by the Commission.
The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) application asks... for the city and state where the training was taken, we're located in Denver, Colorado in the United States.
Certified Responsible Vendor Training programs must cover... the issues identified by Massachusetts laws and any other topics required by the Commission. The "Responsible Vendor Basic Core Curriculum" must extend at least four (4) hours and prepare participants to pass a written test by achieving a score of seventy percent (70%) or better. Online programs must employ measures to ensure participants cannot skip through any portions of the program. Responsible Vendor Trainers allow Commission staff to visit in-person training without notice and provide opportunities for them to monitor online training programs.
To be certified as a Responsible Vendor Trainer an entity must offer a training program in a real-time, interactive setting, either live or online, in which the instructor is able to verify the identification of each individual participating in the program and certify completion of the program by the identified participant. Such verification procedures will include the scanning of the participant’s current driver’s license or government-issued identification and also maintaining the scanned identification as part of the participant’s record. The test taker will employ measures to ensure the participant’s identification is authentic, and the participant is the same person depicted. Online programs must also take steps to ensure the exact same participant is taking the course throughout and not substituting someone else to complete it.
Within ninety (90) days... the training must be completed within the first ninety (90) days of employment at a licensed business. Training received outside of the ninety (90) day window will not meet the compliance requirements set by the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC).
Annually. Our four (4) hour Responsible Vendor Training program must be completed annually as part of the eight (8) hours that are mandated by the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC).
Participants must pass a written test with a score of 70% or better... participants who cannot speak or write English may be offered a verbal test, but the questions must be the same as those on the written test and the results of the verbal test must be documented with a passing score of 70% or better. Although Responsible Vendor Trainers are encouraged to provide multilingual training, it is not a requirement. The test may be delivered in English.
The Responsible Vendor Trainer must also be able to provide accommodations to disabled participants. Once participants have completed their training, the Responsible Vendor Trainer must provide an evaluation regarding program effectiveness. As a Responsible Vendor Trainer, we review evaluations and make corrections (within CCC’s requirements).
"Responsible Vendor Basic Core Curriculum" means... the foundational training curriculum required of all marijuana establishment agents taught by a Responsible Vendor Trainer. The "Basic Core Curriculum" will cover all of the following required topics in the training:
Module 1: Cannabis' effect on the human body, including the following topics:
- Scientifically-Based Evidence (on the Physical & Mental Health Effects via Cannabis Product Type)
- Amount of Time to Feel Impairment From Cannabis
- Visible Signs of Impairment From Cannabis Consumption
- Recognizing Signs of Impairment From Cannabis Consumption
Module 2: Diversion Prevention & Prevention of Sales to Minors (including Retail Dispensary Best Practices)
Module 3: METRC Tracking System & Government Compliance Requirements
Module 4: Acceptable Identification Forms
- Checking Customer Identification
- Spotting Fake & Confiscating Fraudulent Identification (ID)
- Valid Patient Registration Cards Currently Being Issued
- Common Identification Verification Mistakes Typically Made
- Prohibited Cannabis Purchases & Selling Best Practices
Module 5: Other Massachusetts laws required, including the following topics:
- Cannabis Establishment Agents Conduct & Best Practices
- Permitting Inspections (Local/State Licensing & Enforcement)
- Government Licensing & Enforcement (Including CCC Registration & License Sanctions)
- Reporting Incidents & Legal Notification Requirements
- Administrative, Civil & Criminal Liability Requirements
- Waste Disposal, Worker Health & Workplace Safety Standards
- Patrons Prohibited From Bringing Cannabis & Related-Products (Within Licensed Premises)
- Permitted Hours of Sales (Cannabis Industry Restrictions)
- Licensee Responsibilities (Allowed/Illegal Premise Activities)
- Record Maintenance (Confidentiality & Privacy)
- Any other topics determined by the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) will be included.
"Responsible Vendor Advanced Core Curriculum" means... the advanced training curriculum taught by a Responsible Vendor Trainer that may be taken by agents after completing the "Responsible Vendor Basic Core Curriculum" that's being required.
Each "Responsible Vendor Advanced Core Curriculum" training will be approved prior to being offered and the curriculum will build on the knowledge, skills, and practices covered in the "Responsible Vendor Basic Core Curriculum." A "Responsible Vendor Advanced Core Curriculum" training will include standards and best practices in the following areas:
- Cannabis Cultivation
- Product Manufacturing
- Retail Dispensary
- Delivery & Transportation
- Social Consumption
- Laboratory Science
- Energy Consumption & Environmental Best Practices
- Social Justice & Economically Reparative Best Practices
- Implicit Bias & Diversity Training
- Worker & Workplace Safety
- Food Safety & Sanitation
- Confidentiality & Privacy
- In-depth coverage of any topic(s) taught within the "Responsible Vendor Basic Core Curriculum."
- Any other training topics determined by the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) will be included as they become required.
In addition to the "Responsible Vendor Basic Core Curriculum"... all agents acting as delivery employees of a delivery licensee or an establishment with a delivery endorsement will have successfully completed "Delivery Core Curriculum" prior to making a delivery to the extent not covered in "Basic Core Responsible Vendor Training" include training on:
- Safely Conducting Deliveries
- Checking Identification Procedures
- Safe Cash Handling Practices
- Securing Product Following Diversion, Theft or Loss (of Finished Cannabis Products)
- Assisting, Collecting & Communicating Information During Compliance Investigations
- Cannabis Impairment Indications
- De-Escalating Potentially Dangerous Situations Strategies
- Recording Devices Being Used (Consumer Notifications)
- Other topics determined by the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) will be included as required.
An establishment authorized to process cannabis will... do so in a safe and sanitary manner when processing the leaves and flowers of the female cannabis plant only, which will be:
- Well-Cured Cannabis Flower That's Free of Seeds & Stems
- Cannabis That's Free of Dirt, Sand, Debris & Other Foreign Matter
- Cannabis Free Contamination by Mold, Rot, Other Fungus, Pests & Bacterial Diseases & Satisfying Sanitation Requirements
- Prepared & Handled Using Food-Grade Stainless Steel Tables (with No Contact From Bare Hands)
- Secured Cannabis Packaging Areas
- Businesses That Develop, Repackage, or Process Non-Edible Cannabis Products Sanitary Requirements Compliance
- Businesses That Develop or Process Edibles Will Meet Prepared, Handled & Stored Sanitary Requirements
- Proper Product Handling Compliance (unless Commission Authorizes a Colocated Marijuana Operations Being Exempted)
Yes. Provided it meets the training requirements of the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC).
Yes! For example, our Responsible Vendor Training Certification is four (4) hours of total training time, so the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) would still require you will need to complete four (4) hours of extra training to meet the eight (8) hours required annually.
A Responsible Vendor Trainer must maintain its training records... at its principal place of business during the applicable calendar year and for the following three (3) years. The Responsible Vendor Trainer must make the records available for inspection by Commission staff and any other applicable licensing authority upon request during normal business hours. The Responsible Vendor Trainer must also be able to provide written documentation of attendance and successful passage of a test on the training of the curriculum for agents.
Responsible Vendor Trainers are required to be independent... of other establishments. They may, however, require the support of participants in the cannabis industry, including licensees or establishment agents. To preserve the independence of the Responsible Vendor Trainer and prevent misuse, and will control the use of commercial interests in training.
For the purpose of these standards, a “commercial interest” is any entity, or individual affiliated with such entity, that cultivates, manufactures, produces, tests, transports, or sells cannabis, products, or accessories, or supplies services, equipment, or materials to such entities. Commercial support is financial, or in-kind, contributions given by a commercial interest, which is used to pay all or part of the costs of a Responsible Vendor Training activity.
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Knowledge Assessment Quiz
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